Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beloved Fresh Garden Tomato Marinara

Best Sauce EVER.

Start with the loveliest bunch of ripe garden tomatoes you can find. :) Can use canned, but in fall--why?

Nothing, NOTHING better than a vine-ripened garden tomato.

Anyway... I like to make a big old pot of the stuff. Because it rules. And it freezes well. And did I say that it makes my mouth into a party?

Anyhoo. Start with those gorgeous tomatoes. I used 24 large ripe tomatoes.

Boil some water. I filled my 8 quart stock pot 2/3 full, and that was just perfect to boil the skins off all the tomatoes at once, and then I can use the same stock pot to make the sauce after.

When the water is boiling, add tomatoes, and let sit in the boiling water for about 1 minute. If you go a little longer you're okay. If you go much longer, the soup will flow right out of the tomato skins.

Then dump the tomatoes into a sink full of ice water. This will help the skins slide off easily.

Before slipping the skins, you want to start your 2 medium onions and 1/2 C olive oil start cooking in the stock pot over medium heat.

Then slip off the tomato skins. If they're ripe, this should be easy as pie.

Then core them and chop them into quarters or eighths, depending on the size of the tomato.

When that's done, dump them into the pot with the onions, and turn up the heat to high.

Add 3 bay leaves and 3 T minced garlic... this is the equal of 18 cloves. I know, I know... CRAZY. But wonderful. Trust me.

Let this come to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes before adding 1 T basil, 1 T oregano, 1 T Italian seasoning, 1 T salt, 1/2 T black pepper, 2-5 T sugar -- This is totally depending on your taste, and I can't decide for you.

Then simmer until the amount of liquid in your pot is reduced by half, and add at the end 2 T balsamic vinegar. You may have to add more sugar at this point if your sauce is too acidic.

I go sparing with this sauce on my noodles. It is SERIOUSLY flavorful, so I don't lay it on too thick.

Eat this baby over whole wheat pasta, and try it with the quinoa meatballs. I promise you won't be sorry!


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